27 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2021
    1. It’s a familiar trick in the privatisation-happy US – like, say, underfunding public education and then criticising the institution for struggling.

      This same thing is being seen in the U.S. Post Office now too. Underfund it into failure rather than provide a public good.

      Capitalism definitely hasn't solved the issue, and certainly without government regulation. See also the last mile problem for internet service, telephone service, and cable service.

      UPS and FedEx apparently rely on the USPS for last mile delivery in remote areas. (Source for this?)

      The poor and the remote are inordinately effected in almost all these cases. What other things do these examples have in common? How can we compare and contrast the public service/government versions with the private capitalistic ones to make the issues more apparent. Which might be the better solution: capitalism with tight government regulation to ensure service at the low end or a government monopoly of the area? or something in between?

  2. Jun 2021
    1. We should favor ways of organizing our social and economic life so things that are socially productive are more nearly equally rewarded. And we should pick ways of making things, ways of delivering services, ways of running schooling that don’t skew achievement so far at the very top. … We could organize finance so that the middle of the skill distribution, the old home loan officer, is the dominant worker. We could organize medicine in such a way that the difference between the specialist doctor, the nurse practitioner, and the pharmacist is relatively small and most health care is delivered by people in the middle of the skill distribution. ... The core thing to do is to find policies both in education and the labor market that recompress the distribution of economic roles.

      This sounds like a positive move, but will require a lot of government regulation/oversight.

      Placing caps on runaway capitalism and meritocracy could be required to keep us from killing ourselves.

  3. May 2021
    1. I worked on a recent project to sketch out for a centre-right German think-tank how a European data commons might work. I tried to steer it away from property rights and towards what you’d get if you started with the commons and then worked back to what data could be harnessed, and to which collective purposes. This is eminently do-able, and pushes you towards two distinct areas; groups of people who are served poorly or not at all by current data regimes, and existing cooperatives, unions and mutual societies who could collect and process their members’ data to improve collective bargaining, or licence access to it to generate revenue and boost affiliate membership. Viewing personal data as a collective asset points towards all sorts of currently under-provided public goods (I briefly describe several, on p. 74 here – yes, oddly enough, this stuff got shoved into an annex).

      Apparently lots of reading to catch up on here.

      I definitely like the idea of starting with the commons and working backwards, not only with respect to data, but with respect to most natural resources. This should be the primary goal of governments and the goal should be to prevent private individuals and corporations from privatizing profits and socializing the losses.

      Think of an individual organism in analogy to a country or even personkind. What do we call a group of cells that grows without check and consumes all the resources? (A cancer). The organism needs each cell and group of cells to work together for the common good. We can't have a group of cis-gender white men aggregating all the power and resources for themselves at the cost of the rest otherwise they're just a cancer on humanity.

    2. To change incentives so that personal data is treated with appropriate care, we need criminal penalties for the Facebook executives who left vulnerable half a billion people’s personal data, unleashing a lifetime of phishing attacks, and who now point to an FTC deal indemnifying them from liability because our phone numbers and unchangeable dates of birth are “old” data.

      We definitely need penalties and regulation to fix our problems.

    1. For example, we know one of the ways to make people care about negative externalities is to make them pay for it; that’s why carbon pricing is one of the most efficient ways of reducing emissions. There’s no reason why we couldn’t enact a data tax of some kind. We can also take a cautionary tale from pricing externalities, because you have to have the will to enforce it. Western Canada is littered with tens of thousands of orphan wells that oil production companies said they would clean up and haven’t, and now the Canadian government is chipping in billions of dollars to do it for them. This means we must build in enforcement mechanisms at the same time that we’re designing principles for data governance, otherwise it’s little more than ethics-washing.

      Building in pre-payments or a tax on data leaks to prevent companies neglecting negative externalities could be an important stick in government regulation.

      While it should apply across the board, it should be particularly onerous for for-profit companies.

    1. it makes a difference whether the argument made before Congress is “Facebook is bad, cannot reform itself, and is guided by people who know what they’re doing but are doing int anyway—and the company needs to be broken up immediately” or if the argument is “Facebook means well, but it sure would be nice if they could send out fewer notifications and maybe stop recommending so much conspiratorial content.”

      Note the dramatic difference between these spaces and the potential ability for things to get better.

  4. Mar 2021
    1. Other countries are already focusing their regulatory efforts on engineering and design. France has discussed appointing an algorithm auditor, who would oversee the effects of platform engineering on the French public. The U.K. has proposed that companies assess the impact of algorithms on illegal content distribution and illegal activity on their platforms. Europe is heading in that direction too.
    2. Theodore Roosevelt—who denounced the “unfair money-getting” that created a “small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power”—rewrote the rules. He broke up monopolies to make the economy more fair, returning power to small businesses and entrepreneurs. He enacted protections for working people. And he created the national parks, public spaces for all to enjoy.

      We could definitely use another round of this now. Where is the end of our current gilded age?

  5. Feb 2021
  6. Jan 2021
    1. Users fully depend on WhatsApp developers. If WhatsApp developers decide to include user-hostile features in the app, users must go with it. They can’t switch to a different server or client without switching away from WhatsApp and losing the ability to communicate with all their WhatsApp contacts.

      This is the sort of monopoly behavior that needs to be regulated.

  7. Oct 2020
    1. When a dominant firm buys its a nascent challenger, alarm bells are supposed to ring. Yet both American and European regulators found themselves unable to find anything wrong with the takeover.
    1. We need to debate what kind of hypermedia suit our vision of society - how we create the interactive products and on-line services we want to use, the kind of computers we like and the software we find most useful. We need to find ways to think socially and politically about the machines we develop. While learning from the can-do attitude of the Californian individualists, we also must recognise that the potentiality of hypermedia can never solely be realised through market forces. We need an economy which can unleash the creative powers of hi-tech artisans. Only then can we fully grasp the Promethean opportunities of hypermedia as humanity moves into the next stage of modernity.

      Great ending. These words are as true today as they were 25 years ago.

    1. But that state of consciousness that permits the growth of liberalism seems to stabilize in the way one would expect at the end of history if it is underwritten by the abundance of a modern free market economy.

      Writers spend an awful lot of time focused too carefully on the free market economy, but don't acknowledge a lot of the major benefits of the non-free market parts which are undertaken and executed often by governments and regulatory environments. (Hacker & Pierson, 2016)

    1. “Deliver with Amazon. Be your own boss. Great earnings. Flexible hours. Make more time for whatever drives you.” Amazon has taken a page from Uber and is leveraging the romanticization of entrepreneurship, the need for flexibility, and the decreasing options of non-degreed workers in rural areas. There are already stories depicting breakneck delivery schedules that obviate luxuries such as bathroom breaks. FedEx drivers get paternity leave and (gasp) health insurance.

      Again, it's the ability to canibalize at the lowest levels that helps tech companies to out-compete their rivals. Companies should be regulated away from being able to do this, particularly for non-employees.

  8. Aug 2020
  9. Jun 2020
  10. May 2020
  11. Jul 2019
    1. Cardinal Health said that it has learned from its experience, increasing training and doing a better job to “spot, stop and report suspicious orders,” company spokeswoman Brandi Martin wrote.

      Because companies are incentivized to sell however, it will require governmental oversight and regulation to fix this problem.

  12. Nov 2018
  13. Feb 2014
    1. National governments are also weighing in on the issue. The UK government aims this April to make text-mining for non-commercial purposes exempt from copyright, allowing academics to mine any content they have paid for.

      UK government intervening to make text-mining for non-commercial purposes exempt from copyright.